Posts Tagged ‘advice’

August 5, 2013 9:00 am

Style Guide: How to Layer Clothes

how to layer clothes

Just like with anything else, there’s always room for mistakes when it comes to layering. The following list of main mistakes you’re likely to encounter in your career will help you identify practices to avoid, as well as their associated effects for your client. Following these guidelines will help you make smart choices with layering and create stand-out ensembles for your clients year round. Keep these “major mistakes” in mind when working with layers to ensure you’re looking put-together and not left uncomfortable or frumpy. Read on to learn the biggest mistakes to avoid when layering, and how to layer clothes properly.


Leggings are actually footless tights and are not a wearable garment on their own. It’s important to keep this in mind when getting dressed or advising others on their wardrobes. While there are times and places leggings make for a suitable layering piece, they’re often wrongly used. When working with leggings, ensure you’re using a high quality legging in a proper size.  A too-tight legging will lose its opacity, cling to all the wrong areas, and will actually be very uncomfortable.  A proper fitting legging can make for a good layering piece, particularly on cool summer nights or in the fall, but needs to be used as hosiery and not as a standalone garment.

When wearing leggings, ensure your top drapes down to at least your mid-thighs. You’ll want to be able to bend over, reach for something, and stretch without showing off too much. Also, keep in mind the footwear with which you’ll be wearing the leggings. Footless leggings are meant to be a casual item, and shouldn’t be worn to the office or worn with dainty footwear. Pairing leggings with a long sweater dress and casual flats, or calf high boots, is attractive. Wearing footless leggings with strappy heels and a too short blouse is not only inappropriate for the office, but also isn’t flattering.

Too Many or too Little

There is definitely such a thing as wearing too many layers. The moment you begin to feel too warm in a controlled climate setting, or start to lose your silhouette, you’ve done too much. Your best bet is to restrict the number of layers used to three in colder months and two in warmer months. This will still allow for outfit versatility and transition, but will avoid causing your client to overheat or making the ensemble become too complicated. You never want to look overdone!

Just as you can dress in too many layers, you can also dress in too few. Most people restrict themselves to wearing outfits composed of one or two items such as a tank and shorts or dress. When styled correctly, these outfits can be absolutely gorgeous! However, they aren’t very versatile and you’re likely to become cold when you step inside an air conditioned building, hit a patch of shade, or when the evening arrives and the temperature begins to drop.

Too Heavy

The same problems can ensue when you layer using too heavy fabrics as would occur with dressing in too many layers. You run the risk of becoming uncomfortable, you’ll likely lose your shape, and you will wind up looking larger and fuller than you actually are. This is why it’s best to layer using the lightest fabrics possible and keeping any heavy layers on the outside of the ensemble. Always use a belt to cinch in the extra fabric around your waist if an extra layer is needed but your silhouette starts to disappear. You should never pair a thick layer with another thick layer, as this will become too bulky and is less likely to flatter you than a thin layer paired with something thicker.

Out of Season Scarves

There are certain fabrics more suited to warmer months, and others more suited to colder months. The same rules apply when using scarves in a layered look. You don’t want to put on a light linen scarf in the dead of winter, and you certainly don’t want to dress in a thick knit scarf or faux fur snood in the heat of summer! Always think of the environment in which will be and choose garments with appropriate fabric types.

Loss of Silhouette

Your silhouette may become lost under layers in a variety of situations. You may be wearing too many layers. You may not be accessorizing appropriately with a layered ensemble. You may have forgotten to keep the bottom half of an outfit balanced when adding layers to the top half. The layers could be too thick or not fitted enough. Whatever the cause, allowing your silhouette to become lost under their clothes is a mistake you should try to avoid. Learn to accept that some outfits may look amazing on other people, but simply not work on you – and vice versa. Layered looks, while able to be chic and in-style, won’t work on everyone every single time.

Too Much Color or Not Enough Color

When building any outfit, color matters greatly. When building a layered outfit, you’ll need to pay extra attention to the colors you’re selecting. If the only pop of color in an outfit is on the outer layer, and it gets removed at some point during the day, you will be left with a much less interesting ensemble. At the same time, however, you don’t want to layer with too much color as the outfit will become overwhelming. Balance must be achieved with an outfit’s colors, something which can often be done through the use of prints and patterns. Just be sure not to use too many and to use prints, patterns, and colors in complimentary hues.

Competing Cuts

When layering, it’s important to keep in mind how each garment is cut. If your base layer has a collar, the layer you place over top of it should have a complimentary neckline. A turtle neck, for example, would sit awkwardly on top of a collared blouse and would cause the neck to appear bumpy or wider than it actually is. Layering a short sleeved shirt under a fitted long sleeve sweater may result in an awkward line where the base layer sleeve ends, which is likely to show through a fitted sweater. Try to layer using as similar cuts as possible, specifically keeping in mind the base layer’s neckline, sleeve length, and hem.


What’s your biggest obstacle when it comes to layering? Let us know and we’ll get back to you with our advice!


July 23, 2013 9:00 am

Accessory Advice from Leah Harper

Searching for accessories can be a daunting task for any fashion stylist. With so many options and styles, how and what do you choose? We’ve enlisted the help of Leah Harper, blogger behind The Shepherd’s Girl, to dole out some accessory advice.

accessory advice

1. Think about the woman you are styling. Consider her height, stature, build, and personality. Choose things that will fit in with her personality and accent her personal style. It is important that she wears the accessories and they don’t wear her.

2. When choosing items, consider the visual balance of the outfit; necklines play a very significant part in this. The most common necklines are the round-neck and v-neck. It is important that the necklace complements the neckline, as it will flatter the garment and wearer more appropriately. My suggestions are:

-For a round neck, choose a necklace that hangs in a rounded or square fashion.
-For a v-neck choose a y-shaped necklace.

Long necklaces and scarves are also great pieces to add to tunics or tops that require a longer length. They can break up patterns, such as vertical stripes, or add a pop of colour to any outfit. It is also an easy way of opening up a high neckline that can visually “choke” the person and therefore over accentuate the bust. The trick to a longer necklace is it creates a vertical line on the body that draws the eye up and down, creating a slimmer look. A longer necklace creates focus on the entire torso, not just the bust and neck.

3. Next, consider what type of earring would balance the necklace. Wearing a large chunky necklace merits a small earring, or no earring at all. In contrast, a large earring may require only the complement of a cuff bracelet or cocktail ring. I recommend choosing a complementary accessory that is not exact or “matchy”, as it adds more interest and dimension to the outfit. The same goes with shoes and purses; many ladies run around trying to find an exact match. The distance from the shoe to the bag alone shows they do not have to match, as they are too far away from one another. Instead, try a pop of colour. Alternatively, tie in another colour from the outfit to complement the shoe or bag.

4. Accessories can be fun and really add interest to any outfit. Consider, for example, a statement necklace or earring that draws the eye towards the face. I like to mix textures and colours and put them together in unexpected combinations. My personal favourite accessories are large rings and bracelets. I feel naked without them! I also love to wear chunky neckpieces, hats, and vintage clip-ons.

5. The key point to remember when accessorizing is to keep things effortless. Don’t over think it! Choose one or two focal points (max) and stop there. When in doubt, always remember the wise words of Coco Chanel, “When accessorizing always take off the last thing you put on”.


Blogger Bio: Leah Harper, The Shepherds Girlshepherds girl logo

Leah Harper is currently the Manager at Shepherd’s Fashions in the Rideau Centre. She launched their blog in 2011 and continues to inspire her clients and those around her with her edgy fashion forward looks and natural styling abilities. Leah is also a contributor and stylist with EF magazine, a Senior Designer Coordinator for Ottawa Fashion Week and regular on

Shepherds Fashions:
Lookbook: http://






July 4, 2013 9:00 am

How to Look Taller and Leaner

Fashion is a mix of style, illusion, and effect. It can take some time to master, but today we’ve got a quick and easy tip to share with you. If you’ve ever wondered how to look taller and leaner, this article’s for you. You’ll be looking taller, leaner, and oh-so polished in less than a minute. Read on!

How to Look Taller & Leaner


Creating the illusion of greater height and a streamlined silhouette all starts with the right pair of pants. In this case, we love a dark washed mid-rise denim jean with a flight flare. We’ve chosen to pair the jean with medium height heels in black. It’s important to note we chose heels with a slightly pointed toe. This helps to add height to the silhouette! If you’ve got another pair of shoes you’d rather wear, just be sure they’re in a dark color so there isn’t an obvious stop-and-start where the shoes end and the jeans begin.

To keep the clean, vertical lines going we chose this peachy-cream lace sleeveless top. Note the vertical line where it buttons up in the front – this helps draw the eye up and down and further adds to the height you’ve created with the shoe/jean combo.

Lastly, grab a long necklace. Something that’s long and delicate with once again keep the vertical silhouette going. If you’d like to add even more height, opt for a high bun in your hair!

There you go – taller and leaner in less than a minute… no working out or magic required. Enjoy!

For more styling tips, be sure to like QC Style Academy on Facebook. To find out how you can turn your love for fashion into a career, read about our online Fashion Styling course.


March 9, 2013 10:00 am

Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

When you’re just starting out as a wedding planner, it can be difficult to find new clients. Some people don’t see the value in paying someone to do a job they could do themselves. That’s why you have to sell yourself! A great place to start is by advertising reasons why someone should hire a wedding planner. We’ve compiled a list of the top four reasons why a potential client needs to hire a wedding planner. Check them out, and tweet us your own.
four reasons why to hire a wedding planner
Save Time

With all the little details involved, planning a wedding is a huge time drain. It’s been said that it can take an average of 200 hours to plan a wedding; who has time for that! At this time in their lives, a young couple has a lot more things to do with their time, so why not let their planner take care of the details.

Save Money

A common misconception about hiring a wedding planner is that it costs a ton of money. Since weddings already cost a lot, this could deter a lot of potential customers. The truth is that hiring a wedding planner can save a lot of money in the long run, because planners have already built relationships with vendors. This means they’re often able to get great discounts that can end up saving the couple a lot of money.

Save the Day

You never know what surprises are going to spring up on the big day. Maybe the DJ got sick, or the best man got lost on his way to the ceremony. An anxious bride and groom do not want to be worrying about these little crises on their wedding day. A wedding planner is there to make sure the event goes as smoothly as possible.

Save Your Sanity

The wedding day is supposed to be one of the best days in a bride and groom’s life. They should get the chance to enjoy it! A wedding planner can do all the organizing and worrying for them, both before and after the event. That makes sure the couple gets to have fun at their own wedding.